CollegeDrop Out rates in United States
Theimportance of education cannot be gainsaid as far as the overallsuccess of an individual and the economic wellbeing of any country isconcerned. Indeed, research has underlined the fact that education isa key determinant of the quality of life that a large proportion ofindividuals lead, with the level of education being positivelycorrelated with the quality of life. Essentially, this has triggereda desire among parents to see to it that their children attain thehighest level of education and in the best of institutions, all in aneffort to enhance the quality of their lives. While there may havebeen an increase in the enrolment rates of individuals in the higherinstitutions of learning such as universities and colleges, there hassimilarly been an increase in the rates of college drop-outs, whethertemporary or permanent. Of course, some individuals suspend theireducation for a number of years and then go back to complete theircourses, thereby increasing the number of years taken to graduate orobtain a certificate. While there may be variations in opinionsregarding the causes of the high drop-out rates, it is evident thatfinances, stress and family issues are at the center.
First,the increased dropout rates may be credited to the increasing tuitionfees. Needless to say, tuition fees form a fundamental element of anylevel of education. Not only would students need to pay fees to theschools but also have some money to cater for their other needs suchas transportation, rent and even food and clothing (Jain 61).Unfortunately, the last quarter of a century has seen a 400% increasein the college tuition fees. It is worth noting that for about 96percent of Americans, the increase has not been matched by a changein income as family incomes within the same period has increased atless than 150% times (Dei 48). For most of the college students, theytake a leap of faith in the belief that they will eventually figureout how to get through the system with that sort of income from theirparents, only for them to find out that the feat is virtuallyimpossible or very difficult. Scholars and researcher have noted thatthe about 31 percent of student aged between 22 and 30 years drop outof college as a result of their inability to afford the education(Jain 63).
Onthe same note, it has been acknowledged that college studentsexperience a wide range of financial pressures and, therefore, chooseto make ends meet by working on part-time basis. It is well notedthat a large number of students are not being supported by theirparents through college rather they work to earn their own money andtake themselves through college. In essence, they work in multiplejobs while attending class, an aspect that increases the pressuresthat they are subjected to in the course of their college education(Jones 46). It is worth noting that juggling work with education andsometimes home tasks can be an overwhelming endeavor, in which casethe most appropriate thing to do at that time seems to be droppingout of college (Jain 49). After all, there is absolutely no way theywould achieve education without some money , in which case theytemporarily drop out so as look for money to put themselves throughcollege. It is also worth noting that sometimes the temporary plansturn permanent after it becomes to save enough money for the same orother pressures come calling.
Onthe same note, there are instances where individuals drop out ofcollege as it becomes impossible to support families and school atthe same time. This is especially the case for college students thathave enrolled into institutions of higher learning while stillraising children or managing young families. Of particular note isthe fact that the decision would have an impact on numerous partiesincluding the college-bound parents, spouses and children, not onlywith regard to the stretched finances but also the reduced time thatis spared for children and family. Studies show that as many as 16percent of college-bound parents drop out citing the need to spendmore time with their young families (Milliken34). On the same note, there are numerous other strenuous situationsthat affect studies of such students, including the need to take careof one’s loved ones and parents, or even working to assiststruggling parents to make ends meet. Research has shown that 53percent of college drop-outs cited family commitments as thefundamental reason to setting aside their pursuit for collegeeducation (Jones 63).
Thereare varied solutions that would eliminate the obstacles towardsobtaining college degrees from a large number of individuals. First,it is imperative that more beneficial financial grants policies aremade so as to encourage more students to take loans and finance theireducation. The current policies are characterized by immensebureaucracy, not to mention the fact that the terms are a bitinhibitive of students as they are required to start paying back theloans just too early (WilsonandKathy49). Offering grants and loans in a less prohibitive and bureaucraticmanner would allow more students to push through college and manageto finance their education. This is good for the economy as welleducated individuals find better paying jobs that eventually allowthem to repay their loans at a faster pace and contribute more to theeconomy in the short-term and long-term.
Inaddition, it is imperative that the higher institutions of learningstreamline their online course provision so as to allow individualswho are tied to family commitments to follow up on their dream andclear college education. Given that a large proportion drop out sincethey need to work more and make money and time for the family,providing flexible reading and tuition schedules would go a long wayin accommodating such parties (WilsonandKathy56). This means that individuals can still pursue their educationwhen they have cleared all the commitments at any time of the day andweek, without necessarily having to sacrifice one for the other.
Inconclusion, college dropout rates have been on an increasing trend inthe recent times, something that threatens the economic wellbeing ofthe country in the long-term. This may be attributed to varied thingsincluding financial constraints, family pressure and stress. Inessence, the enhancement of the college completion and graduationnecessitates a change in the policies pertaining to offering grantsand loans, as well as incorporation of online courses so as toenhance flexibility and prevent an escalation of the dropout rates inthe long-term and short-term.
Dei,George J. S. Reconstructing`drop-Out`: A Critical Ethnography of the Dynamics of Black Students`Disengagement from School.Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997. Print.
Jain,Lakshmi. Dropoutof Girl-Child in Schools.New Delhi: Northern Book Centre, 2008. Print.
Jones,S.M. A meta-Analysis….Review of Educational Research-SAGE.Journalof Educational Psychology, 2004, vol 90(3), 516-527. Print
Milliken,Bill. TheLast Dropout: Stop the Epidemic!Carlsbad:Hay House, Inc, 2007. Print.
Wilson,James C, and Kathy Green. DisposableYouth: Education or Incarceration.Durham, CT: Eloquent Books, 2010. Print.